Festival opening

Angela Merkel and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in conversation with Miriam Meckel and Léa Steinacker

»Stories matter. Many stories matter«, with these words the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie concluded her widely respected 2009 TED-Talk The Danger of a Single Story. Here she found telling examples of how stereotypes shape our thinking: how as a Nigerian she had to construct a more nuanced image of Africa for herself because in literature and the media all that was ever put forward was a one-sided Western view of her own country. Stereotypes, she said, are not untrue, but they are incomplete. They ensure that one story becomes the only story and in this way they rob people of their dignity. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel has also consistently emphasised the significance of different perspectives, particularly on account of her personal connection to the history of the GDR. Her insights into the narratives of German reunification and the danger of unilateral views on issues such as migration and political diversity have guided her political decisions. In her much quoted Commencement Speech at Harvard in 2019 Merkel said: »I have learned that answers can be found even to difficult questions if we remain willing to see the world through the eyes of others.« For the opening of the Theater der Welt 2020 festival, in Chancellor Merkel and the novelist Adichie two women will be guests at Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus whose backgrounds and lives could hardly be more different. In a platform discussion the writer Miriam Meckel and the journalist Léa Steinacker will ask questions about what they share in spirit.  

In English and German with translation

Festival opening: Angela Merkel and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in conversation with Miriam Meckel and Léa Steinacker
14.05.20, 17:00 - 18:00
Schauspielhaus, Große Bühne
Angela Merkel has been Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany since 2005. Born in 1954 and educated in the GDR, she holds a Doctorate in Physics and became a member of the German parliament in 1990, shortly after the fall of the Berlin wall. Currently in her fourth term as Chancellor, she holds an influential role not only in German and European politics, but is also one of the world’s most powerful women. 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977 and studied Communications and Political Sciences in the USA. Her novel Americanah was a long-time no. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. With talks such as The Danger of a Single Story and We Should All Be Feminists she has become one of the most influential voices of the African continent around the world.    

This event is presented in co-operation with ada, the Handelsblatt Media Group’s educational platform for a digital future.